Spain coronavirus update: 812 deaths in 24 hours; toll rises to 7,340
Spain's health emergency chief Fernando Simon, who leads the country's response to the coronavirus epidemic and maintains regular contact with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, tested positive for the virus on Monday.
Spain has become the third country to surpass China in COVID-19 infections after the US and Italy. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 85,195 on Monday from 78,797 on Sunday and the death toll climbed to 7,340 from 6,528 on Sunday.
China has so far reported 81,470 positive cases, according to the latest data.
This comes as Spain's health emergency chief Fernando Simon, who leads the country's response to the coronavirus epidemic and maintains regular contact with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, tested positive for the virus, health official Maria Jose Sierra said on Monday.
Speaking at a daily news conference where she replaced Simon, Sierra said the trend in daily infections had changed since the introduction of lockdown measures, with new infections now rising at roughly 12% a day, compared with around 20% before March 25.
Meanwhile, Spain’s María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma became the first royal to die from COVID-19, according to a statement from her brother Prince Sixto Enrique.
The Princess, a distant cousin of Spain's King Felipe, was 86 and died in Paris on Thursday, her brother said. A funeral was held in Madrid on Friday.
Spain has now joined Spain Italy and France in demanding that Europe do more to help amid the pandemic outbreak.
Italy has so far reported more than 10,000 deaths and over 97,000 cases, while France has recorded more than 2,600 deaths and over 40,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sànchez has described the crisis as “the most difficult moment for the EU since its foundation” and said the 27-member bloc had to be “ready to rise to the challenge … It’s Europe’s time to act. Europe is at risk.”
Several European countries have turned to China, where the epidemic originated but is now easing, for much needed medical supplies such as protective masks and testing kits.